FEC slams former candidate Ed Lynch’s ‘absurd’ argument, makes him pony up $10K for misusing funds

ed-lynch
former congressional candidate Ed Lynch

In a court-approved settlement arrangement, former congressional candidate Ed Lynch agreed to pay the Federal Election Commission a $10,000 fine plus reimburse $1,374 in campaign funds the FEC said he used for personal expenses.

The Palm Beach Post reported:

In settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra this month, Lynch didn’t admit wrongdoing. Instead, he claimed he agreed to settle the nearly 2-year-old lawsuit “for convenience.

He claims he spent $1,314 from August to November 2010 in a maneuver the FEC calls “testing the waters.” He concluded the district was unwinnable for a Republican.

In court papers, FEC attorneys called Lynch’s arguments “absurd.” While people can spend up to $5,000 to explore a possible political bid, they can’t use money from an existing campaign account to do so, they said in court papers.

In its initial lawsuit, the FEC claimed it had evidence Lynch spent $53,500 he collected for his two campaigns on personal expenses. They said Lynch admitted he spent more than $5,000 in campaign funds on such items as a gym membership, a home utility bill, an emergency room visit, a driver’s license fee, a gun holster and shooting range fees — an allegation Lynch denies.

 

As part of the deal, the FEC agreed to remove some of the charges.

Also a part of the agreement, Lynch is prohibited from being treasurer of his own campaign committee should he ever seek elective office again.

“I’m just so angry, so bitter about the whole thing,” he said, according to the Post. “It’s bittersweet. I almost regret not going to court. I did nothing wrong.”

Read the full story at the Palm Beach Post.

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